"David Mecalco (b. 1963) is a lifelong resident of Mexico City. He received his formal art training at Mexico’s National School of Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving from 1980 to 1985 and is best known for his folk-influenced votive paintings (retablos), wall-mounted shrines (altares), and reliquary boxes (relicarios and cajas). Mecalco first began experimenting with devotional imagery in the early 1990s, blending elements of Mexican religious iconography with contemporary graphic and fine art influences. The resulting works of art, which are deliberately executed in an untrained or naïve style, test the limits of the traditional forms after which they are patterened. Mecalco’s artistic vision is particularly notable for its startling depictions of street life (la vida más bajo) and alternative lifestyles in contemporary Mexico. His juxtapositions of time-honored sacred symbols such as Milagros with starkly secular and controversial content is especially popular with foreign collectors, and in recent years his work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern in London, the Museé International des Arts Modestes in Sète, France, and art galleries across the United States."
"Although stylistically influenced by artists as different as Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh, Mecalco’s re-conceptualization of the art form is more inspired by the realities of life in the barrios and pulquerias (saloons) of Mexico. His sometimes near sacrilegious ex votos show a keen interest in the suffering of those marginalized or abused by mainstream society, most notably prostitutes and homosexuals. Thus, while his works rely upon prevailing Catholic notions of the holy and unholy, they also often suggest that easy distinctions between virtue and vice may disappear in the lonely darkness of the city or within the brilliant light of the soul."